DR. MATHEW SLATER “(POV)”, a behaviors analyst with the FBI, a loaner and adrenalin junky, is disenchanted with his job and resigns to seek adventure in fighting global terrorism. The September 11th, 2001 terrorist attack on New York forces congress to reorganize the FBI and the newly appointed Chief of the Counterterrorism Division, Andrew Hunt, invites Matt to rejoin as a counterterrorist specialist to solve international crime.
Multilingual, SAS trained, powerfully built with yearning to work overseas, Matt accepts the new job and goes to Saudi Arabia on his first mission to solve a murder of an American family and abduction of their two-year old son, Nathan. The FBI suspects Al Qaeda behind the abduction and fears that more American families may face similar fate and their children may be used to bargain the freedom of militants behind bars in Saudi Arabia. Unbeknown to Matt, the CIA unearths a plot by Al Qaeda to use a nuclear device in their next attack on the USA.
The CIA hides this discovery from the FBI and lays an unsuccessful bated trap to allow Sheikh Osama, the leader of Al Qaeda and mastermind of New York terrorist attack to take uranium to the Iraqi leader so that they both could be apprehended red handed. Meanwhile Matt is successfully countering the bureaucratic Saudi police who are hampering his work. Matt discovers a critical clue, deliberately suppressed by the Saudi police, of a message left behind on the car by the murderer that confirms the FBI’s fears of Al Qaeda’s involvement in the abduction of Nathan. Nasser Hussein, a Syrian born, Saudi citizen and an officer with Saudi Central Intelligence Division convinces Matt to choose him as a partner.
Another murder of an American family and abduction of their four-year old daughter takes place in Abu Dhabi on the day the allied forces unleash their wrath on Afghanistan. The murderer leaves behind a similar message on the victim’s car. Matt is allowed to investigate both cases but he is perturbed to find that the police officer in-charge of the Abu Dhabi case is Nasser’s cousin. Matt suspects foul play. He finds ways to work on his own and makes a startling discovery that a critical evidence of DNA profile that could identify the killer has been stolen. Matt finds a lead and visits a member of the Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) in Cyprus who provides a photographic proof that Nathan is with the Taliban in Afghanistan.
A sensual, free-spirited, and stunning American doctor called Sophie who is indirectly involved in the disappearance of the DNA evidence flirts with Matt and reveals her secrets during romantic escapades. Matt successfully uses his psychoanalysis skills to learn from her that Nasser’s cousin is behind the disappearance of the DNA evidence. She promises to help and offers to find the missing DNA report and try run it against the DNA profile of Nasser’s cousin. Matt is asked to spend a couple of days with a CIA operative who has applied for a job with the counterterrorism division of the FBI. Matt meets with him in Abu Dhabi and makes a chilling discovery of nuclear bomb that is to be used against the USA by Al Qaeda and Iraqis and that the Sheikh Osama is personally responsible for the nuclear project. Matt with reassigned priorities to retrieve uranium from Al Qaeda leaves for Afghanistan via Pakistan.
Once in Pakistan he meets beautiful Shama, a member of RAWA. Matt saves her life from a murderous mob of religious militants and she and her brother offers to help him in his endeavor to find the Sheikh. Matt is parachutes into Afghanistan and seeks help from an underground resistance group in Kabul. Northern Alliance, the opposition to the ruling Taliban party, takes Muzar-e-sharif and is advancing toward Kabul, which means that the Sheikh will soon flee to Iraq. This puts extra pressure on Matt’s already tight schedule and he asks for RAWA’s help in meeting with an informer who could lead him to the Sheikh’s camp up in the mountains.
The informer is Nasser who is now in Kabul fighting the religious war. He helps Matt find the missing girl but is unable to locate the missing boy. The Taliban has been keeping an eye on RAWA and publicly executes Rehana who had helped Matt in meeting Nasser. The executioner of Rehana turns out to be Nasser. Matt vows to avenge her death. Nasser leads Matt to the Sheikh’s cave bunker to find the missing boy where the Taliban arrests both Nasser and Matt. The Sheikh gives a summary trial and passes a death sentence on Matt. Nasser is asked to execute Matt who discovers that Nasser’s cousin is the murderer of the American families.
A Russian soldier who had been working with the Taliban soldiers offers Matt a secretive deal: US citizenship for freedom. Matt has already planned bombing of the cave complex to create a diversion for his rescue attempt. Nasser kills his friend Sultan who should be there to send a coded signal to the US base in Peshawar. Upon discovery of this development Matt makes a deal with the Russian. Matt successfully saves Nathan but the Russian is caught stealing uranium by Nasser and the Sheikh. Unexpectedly the US bombing starts right at the moment when Matt is pretending to surrender to Nasser and Matt makes a split second decision and succeeds in killing Nasser. For political reasons he allows the Sheikh to flee. Matt returns to Kabul with the uranium and Nathan but Kabul has fallen to the Northern Alliance’s forces and its streets are turned into an orgy of killing. Matt sends a signal to Andrew in Peshawar to airlift them and it is set for next morning just before dawn.
About 100 fleeing Taliban soldiers abduct several school children including Sultan’s son. At Shama’s insistence Matt successfully mediates between the fleeing Taliban and Northern Alliance soldiers and saves life of all the children except ten including Sultan’s son that were being taken as hostages for safe passage out of the city. All 100 Taliban soldiers and ten children are killed by booby-trapped trucks. Matt bids a final and sad goodbye to Shama and returns to Peshawar with the uranium and the abducted children.
He is amazed to find Sophie there who explains that she had always kept a copy of DNA profile and was waiting for an opportunity to run a match against Nasser’s cousin’s DNA profile. This she has now successfully completed. Matt feels concerned for her safety because Nasser’s cousin is still at large. Matt’s boss lays his concerns to rest by explaining that she has already neutralized Nasser’s cousin and because of her will to fight terrorism, training in forensic medicine, and how she had successfully manipulated Matt on several occasions she has been recruited as a special FBI agent and would be trained for special ops.
Matt is delighted to see Sophie as a part of the FBI team. Matt requests a week vacation but Andrew declines it explaining that a young girl, daughter of a senior senator, has been brutally murdered in Kenya and an important clue has emerged from a detainee at the Guantanamo Bay and asks Matt to make himself available in the next forty-eight hours.